Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a physical activity-based positive youth development program (PA-PYD) designed to develop and enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. Over the course of the program girls will: Develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.

Growing rapidly nationally, research has shown the program to increase physical activity, self-esteem and academics among participants. GOTR provides girls in the Branch County area grades 3-5, with a 10 week after school program that meets twice a week for 75 minutes. Volunteer Coaches leading the sessions are trained in GOTR, CPR and First Aid. The sessions start with a healthy snack, followed by a 30 minute lesson covering topics including self-esteem, friendship, character, body image, nutrition, bullying, and community. The final 45 minutes of the program involve training to run a celebratory 5K (3.1 miles). Girls adjourn to outdoors, weather permitting, completing fun and engaging running activities. The Branch County program starts Mid-March and culminates with a late May 5K run. The run brings together the girls and their buddy runners from across the county. Branch County has had an excellent turn out from folks as supporters and running buddies for this event.

Girls on the Run of Branch County is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada.